Obama Pledges $500 Million for Women Entrepreneurs

Obama Summit According to President Obama, “Women are powerhouse entrepreneurs.” That’s why his administration is about to make a big investment in women on a global scale.Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya on Saturday, Obama announced that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. government’s development finance institution, will support emerging female entrepreneurs and young entrepreneurs worldwide to the tune of $500 million.$100 million of that money will finance new projects in 10,000 Women, an initiative of Goldman Sachs and International Finance Corporation (IFC) that provides women around the world with “a business and management education and access to mentoring, networking and capital.”Making it easier for women to access capital is a crucial aspect of the program. Women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suffer from a $285 billion financing gap relative to men. According to Dina Habib Powell, head of Goldman Sachs’s Impact Investing business, “research shows that one of the biggest obstacles to growth for women entrepreneurs is access to capital, and closing this gap could increase per capita income by 12% in emerging markets.”So far, specific plans for OPIC’s investment include building women entrepreneurship centers in Kenya, Mali, and Zambia.